Jetstar's $100k luggage mistake on 13,000km trip from Melbourne

·2-min read

A group of university students from Melbourne were devastated after the $100,000 project they intended to showcase at a prestigious engineering event was misplaced by Jetstar.

Monash University students had been selected to compete in an engineering competition in New Mexico.

Their flight was cancelled the day before their departure, however they managed to get several connecting flights to get to the US.

However, when the students arrived in the US, the rocket was nowhere to be found.

Team leader for Monash High Powered Rocketry, Isaac Sims, told 3AW the large plywood box was quite "distinctive" and had been purpose-built.

The team from Monash University had worked on the rocket for two years before Jetstar misplaced it. Source: Facebook/Monash HPR
The team from Monash University had worked on the rocket for two years before Jetstar misplaced it. Source: Facebook/Monash HPR

The students had spent two years working on their design and $100,000 was raised for them to pursue the project.

Monash High Powered Rocketry shared a 'Missing Rocket' poster to its Facebook page — promising lots of Maxibons as a reward.

"Responds to the name Aether," the poster says.

"Last seen at Sydney Airport oversize goods drop off."

Mr Sims said on Tuesday Jetstar hadn't communicated with the students to say they had the box with them and he worried it might be "too late" to get the rocket to New Mexico.

Yahoo News Australia understands Jetstar located the rocket early on Tuesday morning and was put on a flight to land in the US on Tuesday morning, US time.

Grounded Jetstar Airways aircraft are seen parked at Brisbane Airport in Brisbane, Tuesday, April 7, 2020.
Jetstar located the rocket and sent it on a plane to the US. Source: AAP

"As soon as we became aware, our teams worked hard to locate the rocket as quickly as possible and put it on the first flight to ensure it made it to the US by Tuesday morning," a Jetstar spokesperson said.

Speaking to 3AW again on Wednesday, Mr Sims confirmed the rocket had arrived in the US, but there was another issue.

“Unfortunately we made the drive up to Albuquerque, where the rocket was supposed to be, when we got a lovely call from US Customs saying they found our rocket and had a few questions,” he said.

“I think they were just a little concerned about a rocket travelling unaccompanied.

“Unfortunately that process has pulled it out of United’s system, and to get it back we have to file a claim, which I’m told could take between six and 24 hours to process before they’ll think about flying it.”

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting